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April 04, 2009

Review: What I Know Now

2009 Finishes: Books

I'm going to try writing little reviews of books as I read them, instead of waiting until the end of the month. We'll see how it goes.

What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self edited by Ellyn Spragins
Genre: Essays
Pages: 183
Rating: 3.7

This book consists of letters written by famous women to themselves at a particular point in their past. I will admit that I requested it from the library solely because I had read that Jane Kaczmarek had a letter in it and I wanted to see if she had anything to say about her husband, Bradley Whitford. She did:

And, the best lesson of all: You'll find you can like people and let them into your world, even if they aren't big success stories. Because of that, someone different will enter your life. He won't have the trappings of success that you used to think you needed to have in a man. On your first date, he'll ride you home on the handlebars of his bike, because he has no car and can't afford to hire one. But he's really funny, smart, and has amazing integrity. Because of this horrible year, Jane, you'll be willing to pay attention to the guy you're going to marry.
All together now: Awwww. (And maybe a chuckle at Brad Whitford as "unsuccessful." Yes, they met well before he started making millions of dollars a year on West Wing.) Anyway, I did read the rest of the book as well. There were submissions from a bunch of businesswomen, some actors, a few politicians, etc., and of course some of the letters were more interesting than others. It did get a little repetitive - popular themes include "believe in yourself;" "make time for your family and yourself;" "appreciate what you have;" "follow your dreams;" etc. The letters were short - one to three pages - and therefore necessarily somewhat simplistic; I think it would have been a more useful book with fewer, longer letters that went into greater detail about the writers' experiences. But it was a quick, inspirational read that certainly included some ideas worth contemplation.

Posted by Kat at April 4, 2009 03:57 PM
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